G-8 Ministers to Discuss Developing Nations' Energy Efficiency
Tokyo, June 6 (Jiji Press)--Finance ministers from the Group of Eight major countries are set to focus on effective measures for improving energy efficiency in developing countries at their meeting in Russia this week, it was learned Tuesday.
On the agenda at the two-day meeting, to be held in St. Petersburg from Friday, will also be the impact of soaring crude oil prices on the global economy, measures to combat infectious diseases, and financial education, informed sources said.
The finance ministers are expected to agree on the importance of strengthening communications between oil producing and consuming countries, promoting investment in oil exploration, production, transportation and refining, and using energy in more effective and diversified ways.
They will also discuss how developing countries, which have limited funds for energy-saving projects and infrastructure development, can be supported.
As to countermeasures for infectious diseases, the G-8 countries--Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States--will try to work out ways to facilitate the development of vaccines, the sources said.
The participants are set to agree on promoting financial education, hoping that better consumer understanding of financial products and services will help promote market efficiency, according to the sources.
On the macroeconomic front, the G-8 finance ministers are expected to discuss global imbalances as represented by the massive U.S. current account deficit. They are expected to agree to drastically redress such imbalances through structural reform of member countries, and not through exchange rate adjustments.
The two-day meeting is designed to lay the groundwork for the G-8 summit, scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg on July 15-17. Russia hopes that the finance ministers' meeting, which will follow their talks held in Moscow in February, will lead to a successful G-8 summit, to be hosted by the country for the first time.
Participants will include Japanese Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki and U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow. The G-8 ministers will adopt a joint statement on Saturday.